India’s 31st elephant reserve in Tamil Nadu
- Posted By
13th Aug, 2022
The Government announced the notification of one more elephant reserve (ER) in the country in Tamil Nadu during a programme in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctury in Kerala.
- The new reserve will be spread over an area of 1,197 square kilometres in Agasthyamalai.
- This will be the 31st ER in the country after Singphan ER in Nagaland was notified in 2018.
- The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) is found in the central and southern Western Ghats, North East India, eastern Indian and northern India and in some parts of southern peninsular India.
- It is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).
- The Indian elephant is found in 16 states in the country and is showing an increasing trend across its distributional range.
- The population of the animals had become critically low in 1992.
- That is when Project Elephant was launched to ensure the protection of the pachyderms and their environment.
About latest elephant census
- According to the latest elephant census conducted in 2017, the population of elephants in India has reached up to about 27,312.
- However, the population of elephants was near 30,000, with about 29,900 individuals.
- According to the 2017 census, Karnataka had the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
About Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
- It provides for the safeguard and protection of the wildlife (flora and fauna) in the country.
- India is the first nation in the world to have made provisions for environmental protection in the constitution.
- The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for the protection of plants and animal species. Before 1972, India had only five designated national parks.
- The Act provides for the formation of wildlife advisory boards, wildlife wardens, specifies their powers and duties, etc.
- It helped India become a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- CITES is a global intergovernmental agreement to regulate or ban international trade in species under threat.
- CITES is an international treaty to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade.
- Under this treaty, countries work together to regulate the international trade of animal and plant species and ensure that this trade is not detrimental to the survival of wild populations.
- According to CITES, any trade in protected plant and animal species should be sustainable, based on sound biological understanding and principles.
- Although CITES is legally binding on the parties, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.